Frequently Asked Questions
- If I am not a citizen of the United States, am I still permitted to apply for vacancies at the Library of Congress?
By law, employment at most U.S. Government agencies, including the Library of Congress, is limited to U.S. citizens. However, non-citizens may be hired provided that immigration law and other legal requirements are met, and the Library determines there are no qualified U.S. citizens available for the position. Library requirements can be found by visiting Citizen Requirements for Federal Employment.
- Am I required to submit a separate application for each vacancy to which I want to apply or may I submit one and be considered for all vacancies for which I am eligible?
You must submit a separate application for each vacancy to which you wish to apply.
- Is applying "online" the only way to apply for a Library vacancy?
We strongly encourage applicants to apply online. However, if you have difficulty applying online, please contact our Customer Service Desk at 202-707-5627.
- A vacancy announcement states that I can apply online or by using a job kit. What is a "job kit" and how do I obtain one?
Although applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online via the Library's Employment Website, the Library does offer applicants the option to apply for jobs manually using a paper "job kit".
A "job kit" is a paper application package that can be obtained from the Library of Congress employment office. To request a job kit for a particular Library of Congress vacancy, you may call the Library of Congress Customer Service Desk at (202) 707-5627 or email email@example.com or pick up a copy in person from the Library of Congress Customer Service Desk, located at 101 Independence Avenue, SE, LM-107, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Why does the Vacancy Announcement recommend sending hard copy applications via Fed Ex and United Parcel Service (UPS)?
Due to security concerns on Capitol Hill, mail delivery from the United States Postal Service is experiencing significant delays and although it is highly recommended that applicants apply online, if you choose to submit a hard-copy application, we recommend that you send it via Fed-Ex or United Parcel Service (UPS) and that you allow at least 72 hours for delivery, even for overnight packages.
You also have the option of hand delivery of your application, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., to the Customer Service Desk, located at 101 Independence Avenue, SE, LM-107.
- If I'm applying for a Library vacancy, what documents must I submit in order for my application to be considered complete?
Because application requirements can vary by position, it is important to consult the vacancy announcement for a definitive list of required application materials. For example, some types of Library positions require college transcripts and/or proof of licenses or certification; this information will be clearly articulated in the vacancy announcement. Please carefully review the complete vacancy announcement for full "How to Apply" instructions. Failure to submit the required information and/or materials by the announcement's closing date will result in disqualification of your application from further consideration for a position.
- What is a "Federal-style resume"?
A federal-style resume is a resume that incorporates special categories of information required for Federal jobs. Federal-style resumes are now accepted by many Federal agencies in lieu of more traditional government application forms, i.e., the SF-171 and OF-612. If you choose to apply for a Library of Congress position via a job kit, you must submit a Federal-style resume. Each job kit contains instructions for what must be included in a Federal-style resume.
- Am I required to complete the Race, Sex, and National Origin form/data? If I don't complete it, does it affect my chances of getting a job with the Library?
Failure to provide information about your race, sex, and national origin will in no way affect your chances of getting a job with the Library, and you are not required to provide this information on your application. However, the Library urges all applicants to provide this important information; without it, the Library cannot determine accurately whether it is meeting its objective of attracting highly-qualified diverse pools of applicants to Library positions. When you do supply your race, sex and national origin information to the Library, it is treated in a highly confidential manner and used for statistical purposes only. The information is not released to the selecting official, the interview panel, or anyone else who can affect your application.
- After I've applied for an LC vacancy, how will I know if my application has been received?
If you apply online, you will be notified immediately via the online system that your application has been submitted successfully. If you apply in paper, you will receive a written "receipt" from the Library's Employment Office indicating that your application has been received.
- I am using a job kit to submit my application. May I fax my job kit application to the Library?
No. The Library is unable to accept a fax of a job kit application because the kit includes a scannable bubble sheet that you must complete. If you are applying using the job kit, we recommend that you deliver your application materials to the Library's Employment Office between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or send it via Fed-Ex or United Parcel Service (UPS) and allow at least 72 hours for delivery, even for overnight packages. The Library's Customer Service Desk is located in the Madison Building at 101 Independence Avenue, SE, in LM-107.
- I inadvertently submitted an incomplete/erroneous application using the online (Monster) application system. May I resubmit a complete application and will the system "kick out" the incomplete application?
If you have discovered the problem before the closing of the announcement, you may complete or correct your incomplete/erroneous application by logging into USAJOBS, navigating to the announcement, then selecting "Edit My Application." If you have discovered the problem after the closing date of the announcement, you will need to call or e-mail the Library's Customer Service Desk directly at 202-707-5627 or firstname.lastname@example.org to determine whether and how the problem can be corrected.
- I submitted an application online but could not upload my resume. How can I get my resume to you?
If you used the USA JOBS resume builder, you are not required to submit a separate resume as part of your online application. However, if you did not use the USA JOBS resume builder and were not able to upload a resume, please call or e-mail the Library's Customer Service Desk at 202-707-5627 or email@example.com for instructions.
- I applied online through USA JOBS but have forgotten my User ID. What should I do? Whom should I contact?
Requests for new User IDs, passwords, or both must be submitted through the USA JOBS help desk. The Library does not maintain a separate directory of applicants' User IDs or passwords.
- The vacancy announcement states that I must submit college transcripts and/or proof of licenses or certification before I can be considered for a Library vacancy. What is the process for submitting these documents?
If you are applying for a position which requires college transcripts and/or proof of licenses or certification, please refer to the vacancy announcement for any specific instructions.
If you are applying online, you may attach copies to your online application. If you are applying using a job kit, simply include a paper copy with your application materials. Applicants who fail to submit the required documents will be disqualified from further consideration and will not receive an interview.
- If I am required to submit a transcript of college courses, must it be an official transcript or is a photocopy sufficient?
A photocopy (or a copy downloaded from the university website) is sufficient at the application stage; a self-generated list of courses is also acceptable at this stage. However, if you ultimately are selected for the position, you will be required to provide an official version of your transcript.
- Do I have to use the resume builder at USAJOBS? Can't I just submit my resume?
You may use either method of providing your work history information.
- What type of information should I include in my "narrative responses" to the questions in the applicant questionnaire? How long should each narrative response be?
In completing the applicant questionnaire, you are asked to select responses to specific knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) statements that best reflect your highest level of experience or education relative to a competency/KSA. You are also asked to include a narrative that illustrates relevant experience or education. In these narratives, you should briefly describe specific experience, education, knowledge, and/or training that support your response to each KSA statement in the applicant questionnaire. Do not simply repeat the KSA statement or use general language such as "see attached resume". The length of your narrative responses will vary by KSA statement; however, a good average length for a narrative response is approximately one paragraph. It is not necessary for you to recount in your narrative responses every experience you have had relative to each KSA statement; instead, you should focus on recounting one or two specific examples that justify the response that you selected.
- I want to apply for a Library vacancy, but I don't want my current supervisor contacted unless I'm seriously being considered. Do you have to contact my current supervisor?
The Library will not contact your current supervisor unless you are one of the final candidates under consideration for the position and unless you have given us express permission to do so. However, failure to give such permission may affect the selecting official's hiring decision.
- I submitted a "job kit" by an overnight express courier. Whom may I contact to confirm that the application was received?
You may contact the Library's Customer Service Desk by phone at 202-707-5627 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- I applied for a vacancy that closed over a month ago. Whom should I contact to find out about the status of my application?
You may contact the Library's Customer Service Desk by phone at 202-707-5627 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
- I received notice that a vacancy that I had applied for had been cancelled. Will it be re-announced? If yes, am I required to reapply in order to be considered?
Although the Library tries very hard to limit the instances in which a vacancy must be cancelled, it does happen. Depending on the situation, the vacancy may or may not be re-announced. If the vacancy is re-announced, applicants typically must re-apply in order to be considered. The vacancy announcement re-announcing the cancelled position will contain official instructions on whether and how to re-apply.
- I just found out about a vacancy that closed yesterday. May I still submit an application?
Unfortunately, you may not. The Library will not consider applications submitted past the official closing date listed on the vacancy announcement. The only exception to this policy is for current Library of Congress employees who are on approved leave or excused absence for the entire period that the vacancy announcement was open. Employees who meet these criteria and who wish to be considered for the position must submit paper applications using a job kit by close of business of the third workday after the vacancy announcement closes. Online applications cannot be accepted after the closing date.
- Does the Library of Congress follow any special merit-selection guidelines in filling its vacancies?
Yes - The Library of Congress adheres to a formal Merit Selection Plan. This plan describes the objectives, policies, and procedures governing the competitive filling of Library vacancies through merit selection of qualified individuals. Merit selection refers to filling vacancies through a competitive process and includes promotions of employees accomplished through the competitive hiring process. The plan applies to filling Library non-bargaining unit and bargaining unit administrative, professional, clerical, technical, and wage grade or equivalent positions at grades GS-3 through GS-15 and Senior Level (SL), unless covered by a separate negotiated collective bargaining agreement.